Every now and then, a cop picture comes along that makes bullet points out of the cliches common to the genre. “Sleepless,” a remake of the French thriller “Nuit blanche,” is here to teach us the conventions of “the cop thriller.”
There’s a dirty police department. Here, Las Vegas “is a city crawling with dirty cops.”
We always have a disgraced/demoted/wounded on the job officer in need of redemption, here played by Michelle Monaghan.
There’s a bad cop (Jamie Foxx) up to his elbows in dirty deals until one gets his son kidnapped.
He’s got a nagging ex-wife (Gabrielle Union) who doesn’t understand that the job comes first.
There’s a polished, over-dressed criminal (Dermot Mulroney), and an even badder guy covered in tattoos and violence (Scoot McNairy).
There’s an undercover officer’s car-with-character (a 1970 or so GTO, driven by Foxx’s cop).
And we’re treated to a sampler of car chases, club scenes including strippers or, in this case, almost naked dancers and brawls in which the bloodied hero/anti-hero still has enough in him, post shooting or stabbing, to better assorted villains twice his size.
“Sleepless” packs all its action into a single night and pretty much a single location. Foxx’s “dirty” cop, Vincent, and his partner (the rapper and really bad actor T.I.) have stolen the wrong guys’ drugs. Killed a couple of their henchmen in the process.
So the casino manager (Mulroney) and mobster he’s in business with (McNairy) kidnap Vincent’s neglected son (Octavius J. Johnson) to get the drugs back. They stab Vincent to show they mean business. The hand-off will take place in a casino.
Ninety minutes of kitchen fights and insanely illogical shoot-outs and brawls in the kitchen, in the club and in the parking garage and we’re treated to the “surprise twist” that we saw coming at about the 20 minute mark.
Union does a lot of yelling and cussing out Foxx on the phone. Willowy Monaghan tries to make us believe she’d be a match in a bar fight with a gym rat Jamie Foxx’s size.
And McNairy swaggers through the thing as if his villain so owns the city he can open up with an automatic weapon in the middle of a crowded night club and never face consequences.
It’s altogether ridiculous, made all the sadder because we’ve seen this ridiculousness before. And not just in the French film that trots out these same tropes, trivialities and worn out cop thriller cliches.
MPAA Rating:R for strong violence and language throughout
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Michelle Monaghan, Dermot Mulroney, Scoot McNairy, Gabrielle Union.
Credits:Directed by Baran bo Odar, script by Andrea Berloff, based on the French film “Nuit blanche” by Frederic Jardin. An Open Road release.
Running time: 1:35